Chris Dilks of the Western College Hockey blog continues to look at prospects for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft on June 25-26 in Los Angeles. On Thursday he graded Minnesota Duluth forward recruit Joe Basaraba of Fort Frances, Ontario, here.
Some of the highlights are:
After playing high school hockey for Fort Frances High School as a sophomore, Basaraba was drafted by the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League. But not wanting to move so far away from home -- it's a 1730 mile drive to Erie -- Basaraba stayed closer to home, transferring to the Shattuck-St. Mary's prep school in Faribault, Minn., where he's played for the past two years.
Basaraba has a big frame (6-foot-2 and 180 pounds), and though he still has room to add strength, he's already very strong for his age, which makes him a punishing checker and gives him a wicked shot. Despite the big shot, he hasn't shown a lot of potential as a future NHL scoring threat, but even if that area doesn't develop, he could be a very talent two-way player.
Basaraba would be a very nice prospect for any team to have. As he continues to develop physically in college, he could become a punishing force along the boards. That said, teams may look elsewhere early on in the draft for players that possibly have more offensive upside and the potential to be a top six NHL forward. So he may slip a little bit, but someone will be intrigued by his size and physicality and hope the offensive part of his game comes round. If not, he'll still likely end up being a valuable player. I'd expect him to go somewhere in the third or fourth round.